Hospital Heroes – December 2020
18th December 2020
At St John & St Elizabeth Hospital, we take huge pride in the amazing work of our team and their dedication to our mantra: Putting People First.
We have over 570 people working for us across 41 departments and consider each and every one integral to the smooth running of the hospital.
Our Hospital Hero series gives us the opportunity to share their stories, to learn about different roles and to better understanding what it is that appeals to them about caring for patients.
Be sure to follow the hospital’s Instagram account (@stjohnandstelizabethhospital) for our latest portraits and keep an eye on the hospital website for a monthly round-up.
Karan Lucas, Deputy Imaging Manager
I was a dental nurse when a friend of my mum’s, a radiologist, suggested training as a radiographer. I really liked the idea of being part of a team that helps find out what’s going on with people, so at 23, I went to night school to start university.
It sounds strange to say it, but it feels good when we find something on a scan because it’s a first step towards explaining why a patient feels the way they do. Then they can then be treated accordingly. I enjoy that part of the job.
There are various aspects involved in my role. I assist the Imaging Manager in helping with organisational things during the day. I’m also still clinical, so perform MRI and CT scans. And since COVID-19, I’ve also been assisting with infection control duties.
The regular COVID group meetings have been really helpful. There was a lot of fear in the beginning so it was really nice to be involved to find out what was actually happening and to know that we were implementing the government guidance exactly as we should.
When I did offsite training – such as the PPE donning and doffing course at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore – I was able to reassure staff back here that we were doing the right things. It’s been a scary year, but it’s been nice to know that the Hospital has been doing everything it can to protect both staff and patients.
Obviously, it’s been a tough year for everyone, but probably even worse for me because I lost my husband in June. He had pancreatic cancer. I have to say, the support I’ve had from the Hospital has been absolutely amazing. All the way from the top to the colleagues who I work with day-to-day, the support I was given through that time has been outstanding. It continues, even now. They are still looking after me.
Tamara Webb, Digital Marketing Manager
I spent two and a half years running an e-commerce website for Europe’s largest photo printing company before joining the Hospital. I was moving down to London and in a position where I needed to find another job. The advert for this role stood out. Sometimes you’re not sure if you have the necessary experience and skills, but this looked perfect for me.
I’ve worked in marketing for nine years, for some really big companies and some very small ones and I’ve never really felt like I was able to give back to society. It’s always been a bit of a joke between myself and my husband, who makes video games, that we don’t contribute enough! With the Hospital being a charity, I was genuinely taken by the opportunity to work in a non-profit environment. There’s a level of personal fulfilment, as well as job satisfaction.
I look after everything digital for both the Hospice and the Hospital. That involves ensuring the website runs smoothly, updating it in line with our new brand guidelines and working with our developers to ensure it’s easy for our patients and staff to find all the information they are looking for. Alongside that, I’ve also taken charge of our digital marketing strategy and run social media campaigns to help raise awareness of our services.
It was pretty common for people to work from home in my previous roles, so it hasn’t taken much to adapt to it during COVID-19. I do love being in the office and I love our team so it’s been quite hard not being able to catch up with people as much. That said, we’ve worked really hard to set up systems and processes that ensure we’re as efficient as possible despite not being in the same room. We’re always on video calls and have a Whatsapp group; people aren’t afraid to check in regularly.
I’m from Yorkshire originally and I have to say, the Hospital feels like a real ‘Northern’ place. Everyone is really chatty, everyone will say hi when passing by, it isn’t cliquey or overly hierarchical. You can sit next to anyone in the canteen and strike up a conversation, that’s really nice. I know we’ve been working from home for a long time, but that level of inclusivity has continued throughout.
Jenna Day, Marketing Executive
Unlike many people who work here, I don’t come from a healthcare background. I was actually working in beauty marketing previously. Around this time last year, I left my previous role to build up my copywriting portfolio on a freelance basis and that led me to the Hospital where I was hired to help support the rebrand. It was supposed to be temporary but then lockdown happened and it made sense to accept an earlier offer to go full-time. It’s fair to say that I didn’t expect to find myself working in healthcare and certainly not during a global pandemic!
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind – I started in February and only worked in the office for four weeks before COVID-19 forced our team to work from home – but I feel like it was meant to happen. I’ve learnt so much and the skills I’ve developed are definitely transferable. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to help and get stuck into things that I might not have in a different role.
In those early weeks of COVID, our team was producing daily comms to staff and consultants. Not only was that a brand new policy, but we were also having to keep up with all the new rules and protocols that were constantly evolving. If there was a change in the use of PPE, we had to communicate that. If there was a change in lockdown measures, we had to let people know. We were on top of anything and everything to do with coronavirus so that our frontline staff had all the information they needed to stay safe and to communicate clearly between themselves and with patients. I felt like I was genuinely able to help.
Looking back, the rebrand project we tackled in my first weeks, feels like a million years ago. People often think it’s just a case of changing a logo but we had to update everything! We had a huge audit sheet. Across the Hospice and Hospital, we had to work with designers and suppliers to produce new print and digital patient-facing materials and signage to small things like staff badges and Hospice merchandise. We even had to update a few gazebos! It was great to see it all come together and the feedback was very positive.
Our team has worked so hard this year and it’s really brought us together. I feel like I know them so well even though 90% of the time I’ve been working from home and doing things over Skype.
Keep checking back each month for more updates in our Hospital Heroes series.